Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

William Livingstone Memorial Light

The Livingstone Memorial Light, the world’s only all-marble lighthouse, was designed by legendary Detroit architect Albert Kahn and dedicated Oct. 17, 1930, on the fifth anniversary of his death.

The 58-foot marble-sheathed column honors longtime Lake Carriers Association President William Livingstone’s dedication to the advancement of Great Lakes shipping over six decades. His biggest achievement was the creation of a deep water channel in the Detroit River, allowing for larger freighters, a bigger maritime economy and more booming industry. The channel is still known as the Livingstone Channel. Its 8,600-candlepower light could be seen from 15 miles.

At the time, it was said, more ships passed through the channel than the Panama or Suez canals. It stands on the far eastern tip of the island, which the city had just recently filled in at the time. The reliefs on the lighthouse were designed by Geza Maroti, who also teamed up with Kahn on the Fisher Building.